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5970 issues with UEFI motherboards? Boots to black screen.

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a b V Motherboard
July 30, 2013 9:45:05 PM

I am trying to be as detailed as possible so appologies for this long thread..

A quick summary.

Card will not work by itself on several (AMD and Intel) motherboards with UEFI bios.

Card will work when a second card is installed and boots into Windows on UEFI systems.

Once booted into Windows, can disable the second card and 5970 works perfectly (even in Crossfire with a second 5970) until system is restarted and the whole issue starts again.

It is not a driver issue as this happens before even the bios has loaded and works perfectly once loaded into Windows.

There is no option for enabling PCIE output on the AMD systems as they do not have onboard video.

The card works perfectly on older systems that do not have a UEFI bios.

I have tried several PSU's (Cooler Master V1000 and OCZ ModXstream pro 600w), they all work perfectly on the older motherboards and work fine when doing the "2 card trick".

The diagnostic led on the 5970 is green indicating no issues.

I have asked friends who have 5970's if I could borrow them, I was able to get two others, they all have the same exact issues.

The details are below.

I have a 5970 that I am trying to sell. The card works, however, I can't get it to boot on any system that has an UEFI bios. The system turns on, fans all kick on, but all the USB ports are seemingly dead and the monitor will only display a blank, black screen (not a no signal screen). I did notice on my Sabertooth 990FX that the VGA LED is red, meaning that the board does not think a VGA card is installed but does not do the no vga beep from the speaker.

I have tried several different motherboards and PSUs, the only common thing being the UEFI boards will not boot while the older standard BIOS boards power on and work without issue.

The motherboards I have tried that do not work are (AMD) Asus Sabertooth 990FX R2.0, Asus M5A97, Gigabyte 990FX-UD3, (Intel) Asus P8Z68, Asus P8H77 and an Asus P8H61. Note, none of these AMD motherboards have any type of integrated graphics so that is not the issue. I have also switched out my FX8350 for an FX6300 and a Phenom II 965 on the AMD boards and an Intel i3 3220 and i5 2500k, all these boards have the same issue.

The boards that do work with the 5970 without any issues are all older (AMD) MSI KA780G, Asrock 770 Extreme 3, (Intel) EVGA 680i SLI, Dell XPS (i7 920) and an Alienware (I7 975).

For the PSU on all of these (except the Alienware) I tried both my Cooler Master V1000 and OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W. So I belive I can rule out both of these PSU's.

On all of the boards that will not boot with this card, if I install another video card (usually a 6670) with the 5970 installed and with the monitor connected to the 5970, it goes to a black screen (like before) but the USB devices will work. Then shortly after the system will boot into windows. I tried the same thing with each card outputting to a monitor. The 5970 will stay black until Windows loads then all is fine, the other card will show the bios splash screen and then the Windows loading screen before loading into Windows.

If that isn't strange enough, once Windows is loaded I can disable the other card used to boot into Windows and use only the 5970 or even dual 5970's. The cards have all passed several hours of stress testing with no issues what-so-ever.

I came across this thread - http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1710112/sabertoo...

Seems to be the same issue. Works in older systems, does not work in new systems with UEFI motherboard without a second card (I used my 7870XT, 6670 GDDR5 and a 7770).

So after all of this, I am at a loss as on what to do next. I was thinking of maybe installing an updated firmware for the 5970 but I cannot find one for this particular card (OEM ATI/AMD brand). I did however ask around and was able to borrow two other 5970's a HIS 5970 and a Sapphire 5970, these all had the exact same issues as mine. Both of those cards are used in socket 1366 and 1156 i7 builds with a standard bios.


Any help is much appreiciated.
a b V Motherboard
October 29, 2013 3:03:10 AM

I run a pair of heavy OC 5850's on 3 different UEFI mobos (all AMD) and they work without a problem, the only thing I can say is try to update the bios on the cards if possible, If you can do some more research on the particular card, and see if you can edit the bios to fix the dual monitor flicker issues them cards have. But use caution, back up the current bios from the card with GPU-Z just in case the card does brick, you can always fix it with another video card.

Also What are you looking for the card, I might be interested in buying.
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June 28, 2014 2:12:44 PM

I'm having same issue here..

MSI 990FXA-GD80v2 (UEFI bios) running with a single ASUS EAH5970/G/2DIS/2GD5/A and a 1500w Silverstone PSU.

I also cannot see anything on my screen when using the VGA connector, but you can resolve that by using a DVI-HDMI cable instead. I also managed to perform a clean Windows7 install but got stuck on the middle of the process after system reboots itself blue screen of death appears (an issue called "disk.sys" on safe mode was the problem).
I tried different methods for resolving the "disk.sys" issue, I could fix it by formatting and installing again Win7 on a different PC (asus M5A88v-evo without HD5970 gpu) and then putting the HDD back on the MSI 990FXA-GD80v2 board without installing any drivers on it.
Later I installed the latest MSI drivers on it and also did the same with the AMD Catalyst drivers, unfortunately this particular installation caused me problems: after system reboot a message appears saying that it wasn't found any hardware components compatible with the graphic controllers.
I must also say that the resolution of screen was pretty bad due to the lack of appropriate drivers, Aero effect doesn't work and the windows system experience rating was really poor. It seems like in some way the MSI motherboard is blocking my GPU.. it doesn't recognizes but still lets me use it on a very limited basis. I couldn't figure out yet how to fix it. If I enter on the Windows Device Manager I can see a yellow flag on the display adapters icon and I cannot see the EAH5970 itself because it doesn't recognizes it at all.

What do you guys think? Buying another HD5xxx used card for a crossfire setup may solve permanently this issue? How about selling my GPU and purchasing a new R9 270X instead? I have reasons to believe that maybe pcie 2.1 isn't supported by my new MSI motherboard that only uses pcie 3.0.
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June 28, 2014 2:56:20 PM

ish416 said:

Card will not work by itself on several (AMD and Intel) motherboards with UEFI bios.

Card will work when a second card is installed and boots into Windows on UEFI systems.

Once booted into Windows, can disable the second card and 5970 works perfectly (even in Crossfire with a second 5970) until system is restarted and the whole issue starts again.

It is not a driver issue as this happens before even the bios has loaded and works perfectly once loaded into Windows.

There is no option for enabling PCIE output on the AMD systems as they do not have onboard video.

The card works perfectly on older systems that do not have a UEFI bios.

I have tried several PSU's (Cooler Master V1000 and OCZ ModXstream pro 600w), they all work perfectly on the older motherboards and work fine when doing the "2 card trick".

The diagnostic led on the 5970 is green indicating no issues.

I came across this thread - http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1710112/sabertoo...

Seems to be the same issue. Works in older systems, does not work in new systems with UEFI motherboard without a second card (I used my 7870XT, 6670 GDDR5 and a 7770).

So after all of this, I am at a loss as on what to do next. I was thinking of maybe installing an updated firmware for the 5970 but I cannot find one for this particular card (OEM ATI/AMD brand). I did however ask around and was able to borrow two other 5970's a HIS 5970 and a Sapphire 5970, these all had the exact same issues as mine. Both of those cards are used in socket 1366 and 1156 i7 builds with a standard bios.


Have you considered using a dummy plug on your test?. I have read somewhere that UEFI bios needs to recognize the monitors and it do so via the VGA port of your GPU.
On that particular thread I mentioned, was stated that the new motherboards with UEFI bios are fully compatible with older GPUs only via the VGA port using a single cable to plug the monitor.

I will try to borrow some cards and make the test by myself. Then I will report my experience.
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a b V Motherboard
June 28, 2014 8:29:51 PM

Exeem said:
I'm having same issue here..

MSI 990FXA-GD80v2 (UEFI bios) running with a single ASUS EAH5970/G/2DIS/2GD5/A and a 1500w Silverstone PSU.

I also cannot see anything on my screen when using the VGA connector, but you can resolve that by using a DVI-HDMI cable instead. I also managed to perform a clean Windows7 install but got stuck on the middle of the process after system reboots itself blue screen of death appears (an issue called "disk.sys" on safe mode was the problem).
I tried different methods for resolving the "disk.sys" issue, I could fix it by formatting and installing again Win7 on a different PC (asus M5A88v-evo without HD5970 gpu) and then putting the HDD back on the MSI 990FXA-GD80v2 board without installing any drivers on it.
Later I installed the latest MSI drivers on it and also did the same with the AMD Catalyst drivers, unfortunately this particular installation caused me problems: after system reboot a message appears saying that it wasn't found any hardware components compatible with the graphic controllers.
I must also say that the resolution of screen was pretty bad due to the lack of appropriate drivers, Aero effect doesn't work and the windows system experience rating was really poor. It seems like in some way the MSI motherboard is blocking my GPU.. it doesn't recognizes but still lets me use it on a very limited basis. I couldn't figure out yet how to fix it. If I enter on the Windows Device Manager I can see a yellow flag on the display adapters icon and I cannot see the EAH5970 itself because it doesn't recognizes it at all.

What do you guys think? Buying another HD5xxx used card for a crossfire setup may solve permanently this issue? How about selling my GPU and purchasing a new R9 270X instead? I have reasons to believe that maybe pcie 2.1 isn't supported by my new MSI motherboard that only uses pcie 3.0.


Honestly, go get your self a new GPU, The 5970 is still a great card, but the lack of support and Vram kills it. I got my self a GTX760 and its destroys my 5850's in pretty much any title with playable FPS.

The R9 270 is a good card, right around a 7850 performance and it will perform much better then the 5970 in newer games. Personally I'd save up for a R9 280 or a GTX770 with a higher bit rate allowing for better multi monitor support with less of a performance hit.

Only reason I got a 760 was because I got over $100 knocked off the base price and I didn't think it would be that much better, but it holds its own.

Also it will fix the dual monitor issues the 5970 have, and the power play issues AMD seems to ignore with the 5xxx and the 6xxx cards.
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a b V Motherboard
June 28, 2014 10:08:18 PM

I was never able to find a solution. As a computer repair shop owner, I contacted one of my distributors who then got me in touch with someone at AMD, who got me to an engineer in the GPU division.

I told him what was going on, described everything I had done and he was totally clueless as to why the card would not boot by itself in a UEFI system. It's obviously something between the GPU and motherboard not communicating correctly but as to what that issue is, nobody knows.

I was told that some of the GPU team would look into it, I have never heard back from them as this was nearly a year ago.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean about a dummy plug via VGA with an older card on a UEFI system. My ancient Nvidia 7800GT ( from late 2005 ) works perfectly on a UEFI system, that card only outputs via 2 DVI and 1 S-video. I personally don't think you should waste your time trying out older GPUs.

Exeem said:
I'm having same issue here..

MSI 990FXA-GD80v2 (UEFI bios) running with a single ASUS EAH5970/G/2DIS/2GD5/A and a 1500w Silverstone PSU.
I have reasons to believe that maybe pcie 2.1 isn't supported by my new MSI motherboard that only uses pcie 3.0.



Your MSI 990FXA-GD80v2 is only running PCIE 2.1. Only the newer AMD APU motherboards support PCIE 3.0. Intel motherboards have supported it for quite a while.



I would suggest just replacing the 5970. An R9 270 is nearly equal to the 5970 overall and would be, IMO a side grade. I would at a minimum bump up to an R9 280.
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